YMMV / How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The original book:

The 1966 animated special:

  • Adaptation Displacement: While the special hasn't completely displaced the book per se, we challenge anyone to read the book to themself and not hear Boris Karloff narrarating it. Also, the Grinch's green coloring was an invention of the special — a somewhat necessary one, as Seuss' original illustrations were in black and white with red accents (at the time the book was published, color printing was still rather limited).
    • To further drive the point home regarding how tied to the role Boris Karloff is, there exist two record productions of the story, one narrated by Zero Mostel (made before the cartoon special), and one by Walter Matthau (made after the special). Both performances sound particularly jarring to hear.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Dr. Seuss was initially hesitant about making this special, remembering how badly his attempt to venture into film turned out and feared television would produce similar results. Instead, it became one of the most acclaimed Christmas Specials of all time
  • Awesome Music: "The Villain Sucks" Song is a classic, and is easily the most famous part of the special.
  • Ear Worm: "Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores, Welcome Christmas Come this way..."
  • First Installment Wins: Though several others specials based on Dr. Seuss books were made after the success of this, none of them came anywhere close to match the success of this one and are generally overlooked by the public today.
  • Memetic Mutation: "You're a mean one, Mister Grinch!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: The face the Grinch made when he got his "wonderful awful idea" is not very child-friendly...
    • And when he sneaks into the bedroom, that same creepy Slasher Smile he makes at the sleeping kids before he steals their candy canes. It was even edited out in broadcasts for some time.
    • Remember, stealing children's candy canes while they're sleeping is NOT a euphemism for anything. *cough*
    • The Grinch in general has a penchant for making various Nightmare Faces.
    • The unsettling Nosferatu-esque wall shadow which all but consumes Cindy Lou Who as he's lying to her.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Maddox is thoroughly convinced the Whos are the worst neighbors in the multiverse and that the Grinch should be a sympathetic character for putting up with it for 53 years straight.
  • The Woobie: Max gets treated pretty badly by the Grinch for much of the story, almost bordering on Kick the Dog.

The 2000 movie:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The Grinch's backstory provides one.
  • Critical Backlash: From the half of the audience who liked it. It's nowhere near among the greatest Christmas films of all time, and it may have been stretched out too long for some people, but to others, it's not a bad film adaptation of the book and mostly maintains the spirit of it. And not to mention, it's far better than the following film based on a Dr. Seuss book.
  • Critical Dissonance: This was the #1 film for four weeks after its release, and became the highest grossing film of 2000 domestically ($260 million). Critical response was still sharply divided (53% on Rotten Tomatoes and 46/100 on Metacritic). There are those who like the film, and those who consider it an abomination.
    • It earned three Academy Award nominations, winning one for Best Makeup, which was very well deserved considering what the actors had to go through. Especially poor Jim Carrey who had to act in a stuffy yak-furred suit for a whopping 92 days, which took 2 and a half hours to apply and the same amount of time to remove every day. Jim Carrey got nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes for it. On the flip side, it also got two nominations for Razzies (but won neither).
  • Designated Villain: Why exactly are we supposed to root against the Grinch when he has every reason to hate those bastards?
    • He does become more of a legitimate villain in the third act (the one actually adapted from the book) mainly because the Whos, while still misguided, do accept him back during the Whobilation and the Grinch tries to steal Christmas from all of them regardless based on only the actions of one of them (the mayor).
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Martha and (arguably) Cindy Lou do this for the Grinch.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Despite some poor moments, the film manages to be pretty good for the most part, keeping the spirit of the original story. The infamous Cat In The Hat film that followed it however forgot all of the stuff that worked and instead focused on amplifying everything about the Grinch movie that was bad.
  • Ham and Cheese: Jim Carrey providing his trademark ham to the movie's cheese. While the critics provide the whine.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A character who runs away to a snowy mountain as a result of being different from their peers, who ends up creating an impressive lair within that mountain, and eventually defrosts thanks to a brave girl determined to make them open up. Are we talking about the Grinch, or are we talking about Elsa?
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Grinch due to his new backstory. He was a borderline sociopath as a kid until one Christmas he put all his heart into embracing the holiday and being good... and wound up traumatized and an outcast in the end. Then at the Whoobilation, he starts getting into the holiday again... until the Mayor yanks his chain and reinforces his previous cynical view of it.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Jim Carrey constantly Chewing the Scenery is one of the most remembered things about this movie.
  • Memetic Mutation: Many people have commented on how Mayor Maywho bears a rather disturbing resemblance to former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The amounts of Uncanny Valley in the film have unsettled many of the younger viewers over the years.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The baby grinch is onscreen for maybe two minutes.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: This trope is both played straight and averted by the movie's video game adaptations. The version released for PS1, PC and Dreamcast was critically thrashed for clumsy controls, weak graphics and being way too confusing and frustrating, especially for its target audience. Not to mention the Grinch's inevitable Heel–Face Turn at the end of the game would render the player's hours and hours of scheming, blueprint-collecting, Who-rassment, completely meaningless. However, the Game Boy Color version was praised as a fun little stealth-puzzle game that's like a cross between Pac-Man and Metal Gear.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Cindy Lou's actress, Taylor Momsen, would later play Jenny Humphrey, as well as become the lead singer for The Pretty Reckless.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The Grinch was already subject to this sometimes, but this movie increased it by fleshing out his backstory and giving him a Freudian Excuse, along with making the Whos all seem rather shallow and greedy by comparison.
  • Special Effects Failure: The Grinch himself is a great effect that managed to win an Academy Award, him skiing down Mt. Crumpet near the end of the movie? Not so much.
    • Santa's quick appearance though the Grinch's binoculars reeks of early 2000s CGI.
  • Squick: At one point, the Grinch gleefully tricks the sleeping mayor into rimming Max. No, really.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • The Grinch's little rant after the aforementioned yanking is not entirely without merit. His plan would have succeeded if it hadn't been for Lou Lou Who standing up for his daughter and reminding the people that they still have each other on Christmas.
    • The mayor's complaints about the Grinch as well. Stable people don't vent by causing explosions and sparking panic-riots, and the Grinch has been causing all kinds of trouble for years. Augustus may have sparked his biggest rampage yet, but regardless, the Grinch isn't exactly the kind of person you'd hurry to invite to any celebration. But then again, constantly isolating him certainly wasn't helping matters, either.
  • Ugly Cute: Baby Grinch!
  • Uncanny Valley: The Whos are somewhat... off looking, thanks to their make-up and snout-like noses. The Grinch too, but in his case this was probably intentional.
  • Vindicated by History: While the film isn't considered a must watch today (at most, it's opinion is now slightly above So Okay, It's Average), it's generally seen as being a much better film now than when it first came out, mainly due to the fact that The Cat in the Hat is widely seen as an inferior film - Jim Carrey is generally considered a better fit for the titular character than Mike Myers was for "The Cat in the Hat"; also, while both films had some jokes aimed at older audiences, The Grinch does not have nearly as many as The Cat in the Hat does.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: One thing the viewers can unanimously agree on with this movie is how spot on the make-up for the Grinch is. They managed to make Jim Carrey look exactly like the Grinch without the slightest restriction to his wide array of facial expressions, a feat that could not have been easy. No wonder this film won the Academy Award for Best Makeup in 2000.
  • The Woobie: Cindy. She's completely missing out on what Christmas truly is and nobody listens to her at all. It gets to the point that when she cheers up the Grinch by sending him to the Cheermister, Mayor May-Who's cruel joke on the Grinch, which causes the Grinch to destroy the entire place, and she is blamed instead of May-Who.
    Cindy: "(heartbroken) I just wanted everyone to be together for Christmas."